TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This summer, Nevada lawmakers took bold action to give all parents a say in where their children go to school.
Sadly, the American Civil Liberties Union is preparing to challenge the state's fledgling education savings accounts program before the promise it offers can be realized. The ACLU knows that once such choice plans are established, they become popular with parents, the public and lawmakers, making this kind of heavy-handed, legal meddling increasingly unpalatable.
"It is ironic that the ACLU pledges itself to 'defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person,'" said Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd). "Yet today the ACLU opposes giving every parent in Nevada the right to decide where his or her child goes to school. There is no more fundamental right in this country than trying to create a better life for your child.
"Let's be perfectly clear. This is part of an anti-choice ACLU agenda that erodes parental rights, empowers government authority over children, and consigns them to schools that often become obstacles to their future success."
The ACLU lawsuit is based on the faulty premise that Nevada will be directly funding religious schools through the ESA program. In fact, Nevada will be funding parents to customize an education plan for their children.
We encourage all Nevada parents, no matter where their children may go to school, to stand with Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt and Treasurer Dan Schwartz as they put the interests of Nevada families ahead of the ACLU's misguided political agenda.
Nevada parents interested in applying for an education savings account can visit: http://www.nevadatreasurer.gov/SchoolChoice/Home/.
As the Arizona Court of Appeals noted in a similar case in 2013:
"The ESA does not result in an appropriation of public money to encourage the preference of one religion over another, or religion per se over no religion. Any aid to religious schools would be a result of the genuine and independent private choices of the parents. The parents are given numerous ways in which they can educate their children suited to the needs of each child with no preference given to religious or nonreligious schools or programs."
The Foundation for Excellence in Education is transforming education for the 21st century economy by working with lawmakers, policymakers, educators and parents to advance education reform across America. Learn more at ExcelinEd.org.
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